Also I'd say Intellivision seemed along the same lines as Atari but with better graphics, Whereas ColecoVision's Mission Statement was "To bring the Arcade home", which is what everybody wanted. And they were releasing a lot of "obscure favorites", too, not just the same old thing!
Atari was focused on Arcade games for their 2600 from the beginning. Combat, video olympics, surround, indy 500 were all based on arcade games. Their Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Missile Command cartridges helped sell millions of consoles. Atari was fortunate to have talented game designers/programmers that also created games for home as opposed to arcade conversions.
Mattel marketing had no clue about video games so they initially focused on sports games, and it worked. Mattel was also fortunate to have talented game designers creating video games designed for home.
Like Atari, Coleco focused on arcade conversions. It's good they had Donkey Kong; if someone had told me you could play Pepper II on coleco vision I wouldn't have known what to think. Third party developers did help round out their catalog with games designed for home. But like Atari, Coleco depended on arcade licenses to sell consoles.
At the time coleco vision graphics was clearly the next generation high resolution technology. But today we see that intellivision and coleco vision both used tiled graphics and the 2600 didn't. Intellivision had hardware diagonal scrolling and could put double the sprites on a scanline over coleco vision; the Atari 2600 had the most colours. But its the higher resolution and the donkey kong cartridge that distinguished coleco vision at the time.
Yeah,... those commercials!!
I don't think I'd be more Angry if they'd just said,
Were you guys really bothered by the Plimpton commercials? I kept buying Coca Cola despite the Pepsi challenge ads. Those Plimpton commercials, really backfired once coleco vision came out in 1982. Mattel marketing really never understood video games and didn't promote their games properly.
Intellivision was pretty awesome at the time, the George Plimpton TV spots were impressive once. The games had a computer-like depth that we just didn't see on the Atari home console. Colecovision was similarly impressive with its high resolution graphics and arcade-like visuals.
The thing is, you really had to be there to appreciate it, because NES and afterwards completely smoked them both in terms of complexity, diversity, and quantity.
I have no problem with lumping the pre-NES "second generation" hardware together: Atari VCS, Intellivision, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Atari 5200, Vectrex, Bally. Their concepts (arcade at home), development (tiny teams, often one person), style of play (self-contained episodes, no game saving) and distribution methods (anyone can make any cartridge they want for any system, no effective lock-outs) are more alike than different.
If nothing else, the strong-arm publishing tactics of Nintendo makes the "third generation" (and everything that comes afterwards) a different species altogether.
I remember being very disappointed with the NES lacking an analog controller. I like the thumbpad vs joystick but it felt like a step backward at the time. An 8-way control was really limiting for sports games or any type of open field adventure or action game. I guess it's why it had so many side scrollers. And by the later 1980s programmers had access to rom cartridges ten times the size as to what was available a few years before. They could really pack-in the content in those cartridges. But don't confuse more content with better gameplay or time to complete a game with depth of play. The NES still has a huge library and lots of quality games.
Edited by mr_me, Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:52 AM.